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Snooth User: rolifingers

Sniff the Cork

Posted by rolifingers, Mar 14, 2012.

Those "Sniff the Cork" videos got me thinking. At first I was disgusted with the fact that wineries were using scew caps, and then I was actually won over by it because one could go to a park on a beautiful day  with a bottle of wine and not stress over the fact of forgetting a corkscrew.

Now these videos are telling me I should be shot and strung up by the testicles for buying wine with screw caps because they're not biodegradeable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG_J...

 

                                                                                                                                Happiness is fleeting

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Replies

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 14, 2012.

Classic cork VS screw cap will be a long long fight. I'm not exactly a screw cap fan, cork have ancient feeling, but a couple of years ago i have partecipated to a blind tasting were we had to taste 5, 2001, different wines of Jermann and every wine was closed with cork and screw caps, after evey couple of wines (same wine with screw caps or cork) we had to choose what wine we prefer. 4 screw caps wines was generally considered better, just 1 with cork. Personally i'm pretty confused... :)

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Reply by Antonio Chef Tony, Mar 14, 2012.

Several winemakers are leaving the cork to switch to the capsules especially to avoid getting wine "corked". With screw caps airtight, you can easily close a bottle after drinking just one glass. If you want to maintain a romantic atmosphere open the bottle before bringing to the table... The wine cork colors the wine, it gives it taste and would be responsible for its phase without flavors. In addition, the cork would be responsible for the observed phase without flavors in wines three to five years following the bottling.

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 15, 2012.

Giac, that tasting sounds consistent with other studies i've read where screwcaps were generally preferred to corks within 10 years or so after bottling. The jury's still out on older wines...

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 15, 2012.

The question Jon is that the screw cap does not prevent evolution of wine, just runs slowly. With 5 ten years old white wines that fit perfect. The question is, what can happen with a long aging? After 20 or 30 years if screw caps have done is job wine must be younger than its corked twin.

This is something positive? I don't know, probably after 30 years of aging of a good Barolo i want to find it fully developed non just halfway.

 

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Reply by rolifingers, Mar 15, 2012.

@ GiacomoPevere, so the wines sealed with screw caps were superior to the cork sealed wines? That is very interesting.

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 15, 2012.

@rolifingers, blind tasting say yes. 4 of 5 screw cap wines were better than cork (all white wines). I suppose the reason is the screw cap allows a slow evolution, slower than cork, after ten years white wines are usually evolved and with screw cap they were a lot younger.

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Reply by rolifingers, Mar 15, 2012.

Well than, what do we do? Sniff the Cork or Keep the Cap? Apparently screw caps are good for the wine but bad for the enviroment and cork can grow moldy and ruin your wine but it's better for Mother earth.

Maybe Wine shop's should start screw cap recycling drives and we won't have to be strung up by our testicles

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Reply by Antonio Chef Tony, Mar 15, 2012.

A major advantage of the screw cap is that there is no chance that your bottle is corked. Which ensures the constant quality of every bottle. If the issue of aging bottles may seem the added value of cork, think again. The capsule is not only suitable for young wines. It guarantees, to date, good quality for wines that keep. The most obvious disadvantage of the capsule is certainly its look. Frankly, it does much less stylish than the traditional cork. The natural cork can never be equaled by the capsule. Admittedly the pleasure of smelling a cork can not be matched by the capsule. 

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 15, 2012.

Chef Tony i mostly agree with your words but, screw cap is not tested for long aging, older wine with screw cap i ever taste is 2001, i don't know in Usa but in Italy is probably the oldest bottle with that closure. 10 years old white wines and screw caps win 4-1 but what can happen after 20-30-40-50-60 years, onestly nobody know. Another problem (if we want call it as problem), assuming that screw cap can make its job perfectly for 50+ years, screw caps allow a slower evolution than classic cork and after 30 years i open a great bottle of Barolo in its halfway to the complete evolution. Would be a great disappointment!!! After 30 years I want fully evolved wine!

 

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Reply by Antonio Chef Tony, Mar 16, 2012.

Ciao Giacomo,

The screw cap, is convenient, liked by bartenders and waiters, for the moment it is very effective for young wines. Admittedly, the cork is deeply rooted in our customs, but we must also recognize that the screw cap is synonymous with progress and perhaps even quality. However, the current trend tends to use the screw cap. Some experts even believe that it will completely invade the wine world within about twenty years. I prefer above all quality. We must follow the evolution of the wine. For a wine of long guard, the cork is probably more appropriate. I can also add that we are receiving at my restaurant, more and more wines from Italy with the screw cap. Saluti dal Canada! 

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Reply by gregt, Mar 16, 2012.

This has been discussed a lot on this forum and elsewhere.  People have been using screwcaps for 20+ years so they know what the issues are with those, if any.

Tony - it is NOT true that there is no chance that your bottle is corked.  It is in fact very possible to have "corked" wine that was closed with screw caps or plastic corks.  I've certainly had some. While cork was the most likely source of TCA problems, it is not the only source. So if the wine is contaminated before bottling, the closure doesn't matter.

One "problem" that people have with screwcaps is that they add sulfur to the wine to prevent oxidation. SInce nobody knows how completely the cork will seal the wine, people add sulfur at the high end of necessary to ensure that they accommodate less-than-perfect corks. Well, since the screwcap allows no air transmission, that amount of sulfur becomes way more than necessary. So people have to learn to adjust their sulfur regimes.  But there has been a lot of work done on this issue and screwcaps aren't at all something new at this point, so it's mostly a matter of conservatism that has slowed their adoption. By nature people are conservative and wine people in particular, so even though there are clearly superior solutions to many problems, people reject them.

As far as aesthetics, as I've mentioned before, that's nonsense for me. There is nothing romantic about packaging and in the past few weeks I've taken out a number of corks that broke or crumbled and I just don't think there's anything particularly "nice" about them. In the 1700s, they were nice.  Today material science has moved on just like medical science. I don't think it's romantic to put leeches on someone to reduce a fever and I don't think it's romantic to pull a piece of tree bark out of a bottle with no idea what it has done to my wine.

As far as the recycling issue - you really can't recycle screwcaps? We recycle all kinds of metal in NYC but somehow a screwcap is a separate thing? That's not true.  The cork industry has a lot at stake in this fight, as do all businesses faced by something disruptive. The old wooden telephone that had a setparate earpiece worked pretty well. Those manufacturers are all gone now and we're happy to have our mobile phones.  Alas, cork has had a good run but maybe now it's time to realize that it's foolish to spend time and effort in the vineyard and production of wine, and in keeping it in refrigerated containers and cellars, but to have some fetish that demands we endanger it with our choice of closure.

BTW - one issue with screwcaps that people have not mentioned is that if they're hit by a sharp hard object, you can compromise the seal.  To me, that's a far more important issue than anything else.

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Reply by rolifingers, Mar 16, 2012.

Great post GregT

GiacomoPevere,Great point on screw caps retarding the maturing of wines. Would we have to wait 100 years for a Barolo? Maybe wines meant for cellaring should have cork for proper maturing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG_JOks5T1Q&feature=related Link to the Sniff the Cork video in case anyone missed it.

 

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Reply by Antonio Chef Tony, Mar 16, 2012.

 

Everyone talks about it, but most are slow to act. 
The twist-off cap: to put an end, once and for all, with corked wines.
 
Montreal, March 6, 2006 -  Michel Laroche producer in Chablis was in town,  to explain why his house has considered essential that all bottles of Laroche are now surmounted by the "screw cap". In recent years, problems related to the use of cork has generated false unpleasant tastes of 5% to 10% of wine production, around the world. Nearly two out of 20 bottles currently on the market are potentially altered!
 
The solution to counter this plague and preserve the purity of the fruit, in addition to guaranteeing the authenticity of the product: swap the problematic cork for the unscrewed cap, 100% reliable and so easy to open. Everyone knows in the world of wine, everyone talks about it but few dare to act.  Michel Laroche of Chablis, of which more than 700,000 bottles of wine are sold every year in Quebec, for its part decided not to beat around the bush.
 
This producer will adorn not only the entry-level wines from Laroche, but also to the great wines produced by the house in France and namely in Chablis, where it has its headquarters. Laroche is distinct from the vast majority of other wine producers, who do not accept the capsule except for their more modest wines.
 
A tenacious myth would indeed want that the wines breathe through the cork, which gives them a better aging. The greatest scientists have nevertheless shown that the aging of the wine was done rather in a reducing environment, free from oxidation. The unscrewed cap can overcome decades without problems, to the greatest wines in the world! 
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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 16, 2012.

As i say before Tony, short time aging results are good, maybe great but nobody can still say seriously that screw caps can work properly for a long time span. Not because that can't be true but just because screw caps is too young to proove it. Time will tell us the truth, we must just have some patience.

 

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Reply by gregt, Mar 16, 2012.

True Giac but - the Australians have been doing work with screwcaps for many years. They have wines from the 1970s so there are aged wines to learn from and since 2000, 12 years now, there's been a big push in NZ and Australia. 

Lurton in Bordeaux has put out whites with screw caps, Château Margaux has put out their second red, there were some Burgundies from the 1960s that caused Boisset to decide to release some of his wine under screwcap - Santenay Grand Clos Rousseau, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin Villages.

It's true that they haven't been used in many places from where we age wine, but imagine if you were starting the wine industry today - you would examine the best possible packaging and go with that.  Cork is a little like Microsoft DOS - it's a legacy that many of us are stuck with!

 

 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 16, 2012.

Greg, corks are a lot cooler than that DOS/Windows house of cards, that's for sure!. You made a number of assertions above I'm going to have to hack into, though I can't do them service right now since I already have one foot out the door.

"There is nothing romantic about packaging..." Really??!! OK, everyone bag in a box for wine or perfume or...--and you've obviously never received gifts from Japan or China or the MidEast or....  ;-) 

I think Stelvins will, historically speaking, have about half the duration of a blink in terms of their lifetimes closing wine. Unlike the toppings to amphorae, or corks, whichever enduring many, many centuries. Whether it's glass stoppers or something else, our grandchildren will look back on Stelvins as the MD disks or detachable poptops of the wine world. Too many issues with them, whether it's finger and palm cuts, coatingcontact risks, dings letting all sorts of air in, refuse processability, (dare I say) aesthetics, or whatever.

Anyway, will weigh in later. Nothing like a bracing discussion!

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Reply by Antonio Chef Tony, Mar 17, 2012.

Ciao Giacomo,

Si dice, "chi va piano, va sano e va lontano..."

Buon Weekend!

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 17, 2012.

Slow and steady wins the race? Or the tortoise and the hare, Antonio?  ;-)

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Reply by napagirl68, Mar 17, 2012.

I am a fan of dumping the corks. I am a supertaster of TCA and it sucks.

However,  "cork taint" is not just from corks!  There are several other areas in the production that can introduce this.  See below 

http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7loeNmRPniQAcCJXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1dWdnMTFpBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1ZJUDA1MV8yMDQ-/SIG=13b8ksekn/EXP=1331996318/**http%3a//ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/repositoryfiles/Oberholster_Musty_taints_120511-91245.ppt

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 17, 2012.

Precisamente Antonio!

Buon weekend anche a te!

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